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WSJ Reports On MS Using Open Source

Nik posted more than 13 years ago | from the well-of-course-they-do-they're-not-stupid dept.

Microsoft 327

Graeme Turnbull writes: "As I was logging out of hotmail (shutup..) this evening, and as the Passport service automatically forwards me to ca.msn.com (knowing I originate from Ca), I noticed the headline 'Microsoft Uses Open-Source Code Despite Denying Use of Such Software.' The story is care of The Wall Street Journal. Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article, I found it strange that this was linked from a MSN site!" Update: 06/18 by J : Several of our readers have pointed out an interesting allegation this morning at The Register: MSNBC doctors anti-MS WSJ story. Update: 06/18 by N : And several people @wsj.com have written to me to say that MSNBC picked up an early version of the story for syndication; this early version also appeared in the majority of the print runs for the WSJ. More details about half way down.

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No wonder (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#144086)

It's no wonder they don't like to provide their source - then everyone would know they actually use Open Source code in own code.

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#144087)

With this viewpoint, exploiting masses can't be morally bad. It's like saying people that owned slaves in the old days were socially good, because they also employed payed personal. The amount of people that receive money from Microsoft is far less than the people that are extorted out of cash for every upgrade cycle. Not to mention that I don't like to sponsor a very remote rainy region for the money I have to pay, and get nothing "social" in return.

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#144088)

So. Your argument seems to boil down to the fact that because microsoft pays it's staff well it is actually a good company, and because open source doesn't pay it's staff it's bad.

Well, firstly, microsoft does definitely not pay it's workers well. There have been numerous court cases about microsoft abusing it's workforce, the most important of which being their abuse of temp workers. People they hire as temp workers to pay the least amount of money possible, theyt make them think they can become permanent workers, so these people bust their balls making good software, and after a year they get fired because that's the policy among management. I'm not making this up, this is known fact. Or at least, it was, I don't know if they stopped doing that.

Then you also have your argumentation about being payed is good and not being payed is bad. Since open source workers are volunteers (they're not "shackled", they're volunteering to do a job) the only possible measurement is motivation. How good does open source motivate it's workers to produce, and how good does MS do that?
Economic theory has shown that the _least_ motivating managerial aid is money. While it does give an instant benefit, after only a short while productivity drops off again. It's like drugs. Workers need more money all the time, and if you keep giving it they'll accept a constant increase in their money stream as normal. So additional money does very little, and a halt of the flow of money is actual perceived as bad, while it's just maintaining the status quo. That's why good managers keep their staff happy in other ways than money.
Interestingly enough the most motivating factor is personal development. Give people a chance to do what _they_ want to do, and enhance their knowledge and abilities by it, and they'll be REALLY motivated. And this is exactly what open source does. People can choose what they do, and do stuff they like. It really helps to improve productivity. Microsoft is less able to do this, because they hire workers to fit a job (which is rarely a perfect match), in contrast to open source, where a worker creates his own job, which is nearly always a perfect match.

How do I know this? I studied economic theory. A damn waste of years if you ask me, I could have been writing sourcecode then. But well, we all make our own mistakes. And your mistake seems to be your whole argument, which imho doesn't really embody much validity.

You're right about open source people critisizing feature requesters though. But at least they actually respond. And as for struggles inside development teams. You get that as much in open source as in closed source, only in open source it's right on the net, while in a closed source environment it's on an internal mailing list. It's not because you can't see something that it's not there.

Oh, and comparing MS to the capitalist economy just to make 'em look like the good guys? That's low. You must be able to do better than that.

And vice-versa. (4)

Bazman (4849) | more than 13 years ago | (#144121)

On a SunOS box:

% more /usr/bin/clear
#!/usr/bin/sh
# Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
#ident "@(#)clear.sh 1.8 96/10/14 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.3 */
# Copyright (c) 1987, 1988 Microsoft Corporation
# All Rights Reserved

# This Module contains Proprietary Information of Microsoft
# Corporation and should be treated as Confidential.

Gosh. And what is this proprietary information, I hear you ask?

# clear the screen with terminfo.
# if an argument is given, print the clear string for that tty type

/usr/bin/tput ${1:+-T$1} clear 2> /dev/null
exit

Ooh, these 'leet Microsoft programmers....


Baz

Good Thing (3)

doomicon (5310) | more than 13 years ago | (#144122)

Good article. One thing to point out thou, MS is
such a large company, it seems to me a case of
the right hand not knowing what the left hand is
doing.

What I find surprising, after some of their past
mistakes (i.e. DoJ Trial), you'd think they would
be more careful.

Re:Well.. we knew that. (1)

khuber (5664) | more than 13 years ago | (#144123)

Did you even read the WSJ article above?

"
Microsoft acknowledged its repeated use of open-source code Friday, in response to
questions about the matter. Just two days
earlier, it had specifically denied the
existence of any such software at Hotmail.
"

Netcraft only looks at web servers. If they
have FreeBSD running DNS and other functions,
it wouldn't be detected.

-Kevin

Re:You're All Missing the Point (1)

khuber (5664) | more than 13 years ago | (#144124)

No, *you* missed the point - Microsoft said
they switched everything over from FreeBSD to
Windows. Apparently they did not, and they
admitted this Friday. (FreeBSD still runs
DNS and ad tracking apparently).

Additionally, FreeBSDers found that Windows
2000 software uses FreeBSD code.

Yes, I agree with you that WSJ has clout, but
this is new information about Microsoft's
use of open source and an admission of it.

-Kevin

Microsoft's motivation (1)

khuber (5664) | more than 13 years ago | (#144125)

It seems clear to me that Microsoft is scared
because of the quality of code in FreeBSD
and Linux is higher than their own. Therefore
they want to assimilate it to remain competitive.
In other words, I don't think their true issue
with Open Source has anything to do with the
loss of IP, but rather that _they_ can't use
GPLed code without releasing source.

Looking at the admittedly flawed OS comparison
yesterday, one thing jumped out at me. The
scaling curves of Linux and Windows 2000 were
_very_ similar (go look at them again if you
have a chance).

So Microsoft appears to be benchmarking Windows
2000 carefully against open source offerings
and finding themselves lacking, then increasing
performance to match. "Unfortunately" in the
case of Linux they can't legally use the code.

I wouldn't be surprised if IIS is using Apache
code as well, since it is a very proven web
server and still dominates the market. It
would be interesting to find out for sure.
Even though Microsoft's usage of BSD-style
code is totally legal, it weakens their recent
campaign against open source where they have
not been clear at all about the GPL vs. BSD
license distinctions. (I personally think
this is an intentional oversight)

-Kevin

MS criticizes Open Source, not just GPL (1)

TonyGreene (6523) | more than 13 years ago | (#144126)

Besides when MS was "criticizing opensource", the arguments were against the licensing terms of GNU and not open source in general.

Even though MS statements actually describe potential problems with the GPL, they always use the term "Open Source". That is not an accident. They are attempting to use fear of some features of the GPL to keep managers from evaluating any Open Source product on its own merits.

Re:Article written to lowest common denominator (2)

TonyGreene (6523) | more than 13 years ago | (#144129)

The article is dumbed down too much to avoid explaining the different licenses. Microsoft also does this in their announcements. Most of Microsoft's arguments against Open Source are against GPLed software. The WSJ doesn't even mention GPL. That's either because they don't know how to explain it in a few paragraphs, or even more likely they don't understand the issues with the different licenses.

The reporter sounds like he's well aware of the differences between the GPL and BSD licenses, even though he does not specifically mention the GPL. I think that was probably a good move, given that his target audience would be businesses that use software rather than businesses that sell software.

On the other hand, Microsoft's announcements avoid mentioning the licenses in order to paint all Open Source products with the same broad brush. There is no way that Jim Allchin could be unaware that Windows contains BSD networking code. I also doubt that Mr. Mundie is ignorant of the key differences between the GPL and BSD licenses. While there is an element of audience targeting in their comments, the statements of the MS spokeperson about BSD and Hotmail make it clear that MS would like to paint a negative picture of all Open Source products.

Re:Article written to lowest common denominator (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#144130)

Do you really believe that MS hasn't already taken a GOOD look at the competing code bases out there? It wouldn't just be a good idea for them to do it, it is a great idea. That's why I am sure that they have done it for years now.

Re:Innovation (1)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 13 years ago | (#144131)

Isn't 2000 based on NT (and therefore, VMS)? That's just a guess--I don't know for sure.

This is nice (1)

szo (7842) | more than 13 years ago | (#144134)

This article may force m$ to explain the difference between various "open source" licenses (thus admit there's more than one, admit linux != "open source", GPL != BSD license, etc.), to prove that they have every right to use BSD stuff. Would be fun to see :)

Szo

Re:What's new ? (1)

a-moll (15203) | more than 13 years ago | (#144150)

Just checked w2k (pro), and the exact same copyright message is in ftp.exe here.

Re:dreaded marketing (5)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 13 years ago | (#144153)

It is horrible PR.
No it is not! Do you really thinkg MS's PR is aimed at the slashdot crowd? Or do you think it's aimed at the PHB's who allocate funds for software purchases? Repeat after me:

GEEKS DO NOT CONTROL THE PURSE STRINGS.

MS is a business; their goal is to make money; their advertising is targeted at people who spend money on software. 'Nuff said.

Re:dreaded marketing (3)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#144157)

> What I don't understand, is why Microsoft's PR department insists on causing so much controversy.

Because they view it as a life-or-death struggle. (OK, they seem to view everything that way, but they may well be correct this time.)

As many others have pointed out, MS is unlike most other OS vendors in that the OS is their premier product, not something they make so they can sell their expensive hardware. If OSOSes ever replace MSOSes on commodity hardware, MS is toast.

In addition... insert here the oft-repeated explanation that even if OSOSes don't replace MSOSes, MS still has the problem that it requires growth to keep its stock prices up, and OSS is sucking up a big portion of what little uncommitted market still remained to MS for growth.

--

Well.. we knew that. (3)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#144160)

It's been long-standing knowledge that Hotmail runs on FreeBSD. That's what it was built on, and moving it to NT would be (is) a nightmare.

And try to find a TCP/IP stack that *doesn't* have code derived from the BSD stack. Yes, I know it's out there... but BSD stacks are by far the most common. This is not news.

As I recall. . . (2)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#144161)

. . .They moved Hotmail to a NT 4.0 system.

And it crashed, badly. And kept crashing, badly. And thus, they quietly moved it back to FreeBSD.

Alas, no references, this is purely memory. Although I first heard that story here on Slashdot [slashdot.org]

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 13 years ago | (#144162)

I've read articles (and seen web signatures - IIS likes to broadcast it's use) showing that hotmail *does* run Windows/IIS

RTFA.

But Friday, Microsoft conceded FreeBSD was still being used at Hotmail on machines that track advertising and that run a crucial Internet function known as "DNS hosting." A Microsoft spokesman said he couldn't explain why Microsoft had given out incorrect information on the topic.

Re:What's new ? (1)

Progman (24348) | more than 13 years ago | (#144163)

it isn't bundled with Windows, but it turns out that it's actually possible to install third party software. See http://www.cygwin.com.
A Microsoft representative says this bug will be adressed in the next version of Windows, code named WA (Windows Alone).

The Register: MSNBC doctored the WSJ story (5)

The Wookie (31006) | more than 13 years ago | (#144173)

The Register is reporting that MSNBC originally doctored the WSJ and then restored it after they got caught.

The story is here:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19771.html [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Innovation (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 13 years ago | (#144177)

NT and VMS design teams were lead by the same person. Other than that, NT and VMS share very little in common, and definately no code. Digitial was a stickler with VMS code to Microsoft after Microsoft stole its software CP/M and its key design employees.

Re:Eh? (2)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#144185)

Maybe they have more integrity than censoring news stories that put their community in a bad light

It will be interesting to see just how much "integrity" MSN has now that this story has been "spotted".

Countries with Widespread Use Of Free Software. (2)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 13 years ago | (#144187)

A casual reading of the parent post might lead one to think that Free Software is a cause of "the considerably lower standard of living" in some countries. Nothing could be further from the truth. The low standards of living were pre-existing. Free software is a minor benison to such countries. If the per capita income is $500 a year (or less) then no one is going to be spending much money on commercial software licenses. Free (or Open Source..whatever) software makes helps make it legally possible for second and third companies to engage in computing.

I also have to point out the Microsoft's treatment of it's workers and charitible donations do not excuse it's unethical behaivor in other areas. It most certainly does not excuse the out and out lies coming out the mouths of Ballmer and Mundie. "Cancer", anyone? "Open source software will force you to give up your IP.", ad nauseating. Microsoft is well deserving of "accusing fingers" in the PR as well as other respects.

I also fail to see how frequent software releases take advantage of users. Does the release in use fulfill your needs? If yes, then don't upgrade. Does the new release provide a desired feature? Yes? Then by all means upgrade and report back the ways it could be better. If that is being taken advantage of then PLEASE! take advantage of me some more!

There are other points that could be made like the many positive reasons for developers to contribute APART FROM EGO. Then there are also the economic points in OSS' favor but I need to get back to work ;-). In short, I don't feel taken advantage of in way by using my software of choice.

Re:They use TGZs also for windows update (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#144191)

woah. Wonder if they wrote their own gunzip code.. hmm.. probably licensed it from WinZip :)

Re:Well.. we knew that. (2)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 13 years ago | (#144197)

Yeah, there's probably a reason that they're called "berkeley sockets."

The news isn't that Hotmail uses FreeBSD, but that it still uses FreeBSD, after Microsoft announced that it has completely replaced FreeBSD with Windows, and that it got caught in this discrepancy while in the middle of its anti-free-software campaign.

Liar liar stock on fire.


- - - - -

What's new ? (5)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#144199)

C:\WIN95B>strings ftp.exe | grep alif
@(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California.


I suspect there's alot more BSD code in MS-Windows[*|NT], but either compressed to hide the UC copyright or licenced more recently without the "obnoxious advertising" BSD clause.

Re:credit where credit is due.. (5)

dehuit (57744) | more than 13 years ago | (#144200)

In this case the reporter missed that point entirely.

No he did not. Read this paragraph:

[...] The Microsoft spokesman, in acknowledging that fact, said it didn't contradict the company's many recent anti-open-source statements. He said that's because Microsoft's main objection has been to Linux, which has a more restrictive licensing arrangement than FreeBSD. Microsoft, though, hasn't previously suggested that there were benign forms of open-source software, and while singling out Linux for special criticism, has tended to criticize all open-source with the same broad brush.

Right. In the recent anti-GPL FUD, it tried to broaden the attack to all Open Source. Looks like it's backfiring now, especially to the general public who cannot see the nuances between GPL and other open source licenses. Now they read MS is using it themselves...

BTW, it looks to me like MS' campaign is kind of working. A lot of my not-into Linux friends ask me questions lately about the issues of using Linux at their work - the FUD is spreading! I hope it really is countered with articles like this one in the main stream press.

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (1)

tsetem (59788) | more than 13 years ago | (#144202)

What this says to me is that MS has been promoting widespread programmer incompetancy and inflated cost of ownership. How else to explain the above scenario? How else to explain the need for dozens of people in one scenario in one body of technology where the same thing is accomplished by a mere handful? If the personnel are legitamate experts, then that means that the technology itself is inherently flawed.

Well, it could be the developer and not the tools they use. Don't flame since I don't know the company, but doesn't it seem possible that the better developers, the ones that read tons of books & articles & tinker at home, would therefore choose to be on the non-MS side of the house & therefore develop better?

Thinking about here, the users of MS are all pretty much managers or the guys that are doing Project schedules all day. The Engineers are using Windows to connect to their *nix boxen (this is slowly changing to Linux -> *nix boxen) to do the real work.

Guess what I'm trying to suggest is that maybe MS doesn't make developers dumb, dumb developers chose microsoft.

Practice What You Preach (1)

nlabadie (64769) | more than 13 years ago | (#144204)

Why is this a big deal?

When was the last time you heard of...

  • Redhat running a website on a Win2k server.
  • FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD running their mail servers on a linux box.
  • Oracle using Microsoft SQL to power their site.
  • Sun having a server powered by FreeBSD.


These companies all believe in their product. What does this say about Microsoft? I don't ever remember a time that they tried to convince me to run a FreeBSD server...

Re:As I recall. . . (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 13 years ago | (#144205)

Then they claimed to have moved over to Win2000. Oops. :)

Re:Good Thing (2)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 13 years ago | (#144206)

What I find surprising, after some of their past mistakes (i.e. DoJ Trial), you'd think they would be more careful.

And lose an endless source of great entertainment?!? I hope they never learn. :)

dreaded marketing (5)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#144212)

I feel for the engineers at Microsoft. This ludicrious anti open source campaign is completely ficticious and doesn't represent anyones real opinion within Microsoft. You know that all of those guys in the applications division run linux and bsd at home. They are all ex-Mac developers for god sakes.

What I don't understand, is why Microsoft's PR department insists on causing so much controversy. This anti open source movement only reinforces their draconian reputation. Sun is no better than Microsoft (if they only had Microsoft's monopoly we would be living in the 3rd Reich). But at least Sun's PR actually attempts to soften their image.

Coming out against Open Source is like attacking charitable causes. It is horrible PR.

Microsoft has increased its licencing fees by estimates of 100%. It has dropped negotiations with AOL over issues of content controlling (its browser wars II, Return of the Media). To cover up these clear demonstrations of monopoly abuse, the company has assulted open source???

Article written to lowest common denominator (3)

flatrock (79357) | more than 13 years ago | (#144215)

The article is dumbed down too much to avoid explaining the different licenses. Microsoft also does this in their announcements. Most of Microsoft's arguments against Open Source are against GPLed software. The WSJ doesn't even mention GPL. That's either because they don't know how to explain it in a few paragraphs, or even more likely they don't understand the issues with the different licenses.

Microsoft telling reporters that Hotmail doesn't use any Open Source software is a different issue. Either the Microsoft employee that stated that was horribly informed and should have known to keep his mouth shut, or the quote was taken out of context. Through Hotmail, Microsoft has learned that there are some things that FreeBSD is better at. I'm willing to bet that these issuses are getting a lot of attention by the Win2000/XP development teams. I'm sure that it's a goal of Microsoft's to be able to switch those systems over to Windows in the future. At least they're smart enough to run FreeBSD untill they have a "Microsoft" solution. If they're smart, part of the solution will be to look at the FreeBSD code and learn what they can from it, and since the BSD license allows it even use BSD code to solve the problem if that works for them.

Re:Microsoft Hotmail... the virus within (1)

AtrN (87501) | more than 13 years ago | (#144220)

Of course it's a hoax. It should read "one ex-employee".

Call the doctor! (2)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 13 years ago | (#144222)

So much for MSNBC being somehow "independent" of Microsoft.

Did they link to WSJ or to MSNBC? (1)

maya (90492) | more than 13 years ago | (#144223)

Did they link directly to the WSJ story, or to MSNBC's report on that story? The difference is significant; as the Register points out [theregister.co.uk] , MSNBC, in reporting on the WSJ story, altered the story significantly to remove material offensive to their masters. For example, the following line appeared in the WSJ story, "Microsoft said that since last summer, Hotmail has been running on both Windows 2000 and the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems Inc." MSNBC altered that to read "Microsoft said Hotmail has been running on Windows since last summer."

After the story was noticed, the original copy was restored.

Maya

Re:Innovation (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#144227)

They use stuff with the BSD license, not the GPL (as far as anybody knows anyway)


--

Re:Well.. we knew that. (1)

giggls (110070) | more than 13 years ago | (#144232)

AFAIK the Linux TCP/IP stack is not derived from the BSD stack.

Interesting (2)

BinxBolling (121740) | more than 13 years ago | (#144239)

The common interpretation at Slashdot is that Microsoft doesn't like the GPL because it doesn't allow them to 'steal' other people's code for use in their products, as the BSD license does.

Articles like this make it more likely that the common person will interpret things the same way. Microsoft might claim that their motivation is moral principles and concern for intellectual property and the software industry as a whole, but simple self-interest is going to look like the real motivation to a few more people, now.

I was pretty surprised, a few months ago, when MS seemed to start stepping up their rhetoric against open source. It was the first time I believed that open source was a serious long-term threat to them. And it seemed like a misstep from a marketing perspective, too. They give open source credibility when they publicly attack it. A lot of CTOs will look at this rhetoric and think "If MS is afraid of it (but using it), maybe there's something useful there, after all."

Re:Well.. we knew that. (2)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 13 years ago | (#144242)

I read the M$ technical paper that appeared on their web-site. It only really talked about the front end web servers which were converted to Windows, but running a special API that emulated the BSD environment so that the Hotmail software could run without change. I may be misremembering it, but I think a fair amount of the Hotmail s/w was written in Perl, which means that they must be using some Open Source s/w unless M$ has it's own Perl interpreter.

"Berkeley sockets" is the full name of the TCP socket API that is implemented in most Unixes and does not include any code as such. You can implement Berkeley sockets without using any code from any of the flavours of BSD Unix if you want. The Windows socket API was designed to look similar to Berkeley sockets and is almost source code compatible, but there are enough underlying differences such that I would be surprised if there was any BSD code in the winsock library. The actual Windows TCP/IP stack is a different thing altogether from the Winsock library. As it has been multi-threaded for a long time, I'd be surprised if that had any BSD code in it either.

Micro$~1 and MSNBC doctor WSJ story (3)

oob (131174) | more than 13 years ago | (#144243)

The Register has an article on how MNSBC has been doctoring out the details of this story in order to cast M$ is a better light. See it here. [theregister.co.uk]

This is not really a big deal... (1)

sagei (131421) | more than 13 years ago | (#144244)

First, MS is using FreeBSD on some advertising and DNS servers -- hardly _depending_ on it for the main Hotmail stuff.

Second, I am sure they really do plan on moving to Windows

Also, while MS does often attack all of opensource, it is really the GPL they target. FreeBSD is not GPLed, so its not their number one enemy.

So, this is not that big of a deal. I am sure Microsoft will change these systems to Windows at some point. What will be interesting is if we observe lower uptimes once everything is Windows!

-- Robert

no surprises (1)

tclark (140640) | more than 13 years ago | (#144247)

Nothing about this is surprising.

1. MS uses open source software. Why wouldn't they? It's good software that does the job.

2. MS attacks open source software, especially Linux. Why wouldn't they? OSS competes with MS products.

Are any of us going to behave any differently because of this article? Why would we?

Typo in article (1)

Lozzer (141543) | more than 13 years ago | (#144248)

One reason, said Eric von Hippel, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who heads up a research effort in the field, is that virtually all the available evidence suggests that open source is "a huge advantage" to companies. "They are able to build on a common standard that is not owned by anyone," he said. "With Windows, Microsoft owns them."

I'm sure he said 0wns

Does anyone know where I can find "all the available evidence"? Or even some of it.

MS is not against OSS, but GPL (2)

blirp (147278) | more than 13 years ago | (#144253)

C'mon people, this is rather misinformed. All Micros~1 has been doing is saying GPL is evil. Probably because they can't take the code and use it themselves.

MS has been pretty good at keeping the distinction between GPL and the rest of the OS licenses in their arguments.

And this is not news either. We've discussed MS' use of BSD code on /. before.

M.

Re:Well.. we knew that. (5)

blirp (147278) | more than 13 years ago | (#144256)

I'm not familiar with the way the 9x TCP/IP stack is built, but the NT one most certainly isn't based on the BSD one.

  • Find a computer with NT on it
  • Look at FTP.exe (for instance)
  • Observe the line "Copyright (c) 1983 Regents of the University of California"

A simple
find "Regents" C:\WinNT\System32\FTP.exe
should do it.

You could, of course, argue that this is only programs using the existing TCP/IP stack, but it still means MS is using BSD code.

M.

Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (3)

Icebox (153775) | more than 13 years ago | (#144261)

Microsoft tends to receive quite a bit of bad press in the Free Software community. There is no doubt that Microsoft has released its share of bug ridden software, as has just about every other software company in the history of computing. All of this publicity does little to help the image of Microsoft in any community, much less one as technically demanding as Free Software. Given that image it is no wonder that many of us regard the company as evil and uncaring. We shudder at the costs of their software because we know full well that there are lternatives available that are arguably just as good, but are Free for the taking (and changing if we so choose).
Compared to Free Software Microsoft would probably appear to be evil even to the layman. Our community is composed of volunteers. Our software can be had for the cost of a little bandwidth. In our world you have vast freedom of choice and the source code of our software can even be changed to fit your particular whims, you aren't forced to use whatever some focus group research shows that everyone wants.

Microsoft is hires and retains its programmers with a variety of economic incentives. Obviously everyone receives a regular salary, there are also stock options, 401k payments, insurance subsidies, bonuses, education reimbursements, etc. Further, by choosing to work for Microsoft every employee implicitly (some explicitly in the form of contracts) agrees to the terms set forth by the company for the particular position they hold. Other aspects of the employment 'contract' are equally well defined. Coffee breaks, lunch times, and numerous other details of the work day are set forth in policies that are made public within the company.
Microsoft also takes particular pains to maintain good employee relations, so one can assume that the general happiness of the work force is good. Employees can leave the company any time they choose to pursue other opportunities. An excellent comparison to a system such as this would be a capitalist economy. The incentives to produce are obviously economic in nature, some kind of in cash transfer takes place. Employees agree to provide a service for which the company agrees to provide payment. Overall the system is not skewed in favor of one party or another, some areas favor the employer and some favor the employee. It is as close to the ideal of the perfect freedom as one might be able to find.

It is in this respect that the case could be made that Microsoft, while selling products that are not necessarily better than the alternatives, should be commended. Microsoft provides a non-exploitive means of employment for thousands of people all across the world and in doing so fulfills a social contract that is very valuable indeed. As a country's wealth, and that of its citizens, increases, so does the standard of living. Life expectencies increase due to better health care and sanitation.

The Free Software movement takes an entirely different approach to recruiting programmers. One of the largest repositories of Free Software projects, Sourceforge, shows a vast array of programs. Many of the workers on those projects are volunteers.
It cannot be disputed that the Free Software movement has produced quality products but its sterling reputation for being a good social citizen may not be as well deserved as one would think, considering the fact that in spite of their social contributions Microsoft continues to be viewed as evil. Free Software compensates its programmers not with economic transfers, but with social rewards. A review of the community forums will reveal instances of peer pressure to get programmers to contribute. Quotes like "If you want that feature go code it yourself" can be read quite often. The rewards of working in the Free Software world come not in the form of transfers of any monetary value, but from the admiration of one's peers. This is particularly evident with another visit to the popular Sourceforge, 'Highest Rated Users' and 'Top Project Downloads' graphics are porminently displayed on the front page.

Many would argue that programmers contribute to projects of their own free will, thus there is much more freedom in the community as opposed to our contrasting example. That assertion true, but it ignores the power of social pressures. A worker cannot simply walk away from a project without paying a price. The incentive to being it in the first place was fulfillment of the ego and such a person would not risk drawing any admonishments from the community for failing to fulfill his end of the social contract.
Further inspection of the Free Software movement reveals that the social incentives to contribute extend beyond those who can program as well, the movement has developed a way to take advantage of even the unskilled users. 'Release early release often' means a beta version of your favorite software is not far away. Whether one visits Sourceforge, Slashdot, or virtually any other Free Software website on the day a new Linux kernel is released there will no doubt be hype for it. The idea conveyed by the hype surrounding these releases is you need to have the latest version if you want to keep up! In order to keep the movement running smoothly there has to be continuous recruitment of beta testers.

Considering the social rewards and punishments of the Free Software movement one must wonder what its contribution to the greater welfare of society is. I would hold that we all benefit as a whole from the increase in competition between the two disparaging groups. Despite this there is also a considerable negative component of Free Software: It tends to exploit its workers by shackling them with vast social pressure yet it does nothing to improve their quality of life. Indeed, in courtries where there is widespread use of Free Software (relative to the use of Microsoft alternatives) the standard of living is considerably lower. The fact that shame is used to glean contributions also bears mentioning. A hint of disingenuity can also be found in the assertion that the use of the GPL prevents a person's work from being exploited in the name of corporate profit, companies like Red Hat make millions of dollars every year by providing support for code that originally released free of charge by programmers who were paid nothing.

As I stated in my opening paragraph, I am a loyal supporter of Free Software. I will continue to use it every day of my life. My primary desire in writing this short essay is to ask each of you to critically assess the Free Softwar movement, and give some thought to our predicament before you point an accusing finger in the direction of Microsoft.

Re:What's new ? (1)

GreatUnknown (160372) | more than 13 years ago | (#144266)

C:\WIN95B>strings ftp.exe | grep alif
This may sound like a dumb question...but since when does Windows (95b or otherwise) have a grep command?

As far as I knew.. (1)

DestructioN (163267) | more than 13 years ago | (#144267)


Microsoft Vice President Craig Mundie, for example, said in a recent speech that all open-source software "has inherent security risks and can force intellectual property into the public domain."

While the "security risks" statement is FUD, the second part is true. The GNU GPL DOES force IP into the public domain. I think MS has confused all open source software with GPL'd software, at least in their press releases. The GPL is dangerous for a company trying to hold on to its IP while still trying to build on existing technology, and I believe Microsoft has proven this by using BSD licensed code. Honestly, if you were a small business would you want your top application possibly being forced under the GPL where you would have to release the code to the public for everyone to see and take, or would you want it under the BSD license where you merely have to give credit where credit is due?
---
www.stallman.org is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on FreeBSD

Yeah, well... (1)

rizzo242 (165630) | more than 13 years ago | (#144268)

Pre-MS, Hotmail was run eclusively on FreeBSD servers. Even after MS bought them out, they didn't immediately cut the whole service over to Windows servers...they have been phasing FreeBSD out over time [slashdot.org] . Obviously this is in the best interest of a company that sells a "competing product" to the servers' installed OS.

From the article:
"...Microsoft's main objection has been to Linux, which has a more restrictive licensing arrangement than FreeBSD."

Ironic, isn't it...? Perspective never fails to amaze me.


"Sweet creeping zombie Jesus!"

credit where credit is due.. (3)

jayfoo2 (170671) | more than 13 years ago | (#144269)

This isn't any kind of surprise and is a pretty densely written article at that. Amazingly this time the general lack of understanding of things technical is actually hurting MS.

The Microsoft spokesman, inacknowledging that act, said it didn't contradict the company's many recent anti-open-source statements. He said that's because Microsoft's main objection has been to Linux, which has a more restrictive licensing arrangement than FreeBSD.
It's true. Mundie was mostly bashing the GPL, not open source as a whole (not that I think he's running FreeBSD at home...).

In this case the reporter missed that point entirely.

Now if this were the other way around, would it be FUD?

They use TGZs also for windows update (5)

gallir (171727) | more than 13 years ago | (#144270)

As I reported [lug.net] (in Spanish) few day ago, they also use the tar and gnuzip formats/compression...

I found the following files in a W98SE with IE automatic update verification enabled:

  • wuloader[1].tgz
  • wulproto[1].tgz
  • actsetup[1].tgz
  • selfupd[1].tgz
  • cun[1].tgz
  • cunprot2[1].tgz

Keep hope alive (1)

pizen (178182) | more than 13 years ago | (#144295)

I guess this means that Microsoft still has need for *nix hackers like myself. At last! My dreams of becoming assimilated for the sole purpose of inserting a virus into the collective (not unlike Janeway) can finally be obtained. I guess reading Evil Geniuses for Dummys finally is going to pay off.
---

Free software guru denies using closed source (2)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 13 years ago | (#144297)

BOSTON: Free software stalwart and anti-closed source crusader Richard Stallman today played down allegations that he had betrayed his loyal followers by using Microsoft's closed source Internet Explorer 5.0 browser.

"Have you ever tried to get at any of that really hot porn using Netscape or Mozilla?!?", Stallman commented, whilst simultaneously trying to prevent several enraged Debian developers from smashing his favourite set of pan pipes. "I mean, I'm all for free software and all that, but seriously...how the hell am I going to shoot my wad of creamy GNU-custard with one hand on my meat flute, with the other trying to navigate fucking Lynx commands on the keyboard?!? Ever since I tried out ESR's 'Sex Tips for Geeks', closed-source spanking has been my only form of sexual relief. And you guys thought I got carpal tunnel syndrome from coding!! Hah!! I'm down with Bill G and his horny homiez on this one!"

But other luminaries in the free software community weren't in agreement with Stallman's flirtation with the dark side of software engineering.

"I've been spanking off with Konquerer for 6 months with no problems", reported KDE developer Matthias Welk. "What a hyprocrite...I mean after all that fuss about the Qt license, and now we find out that Stallman has been using closed-source all along. What a fucking wanker!!"

Open source browser Mozilla developer Christopher Blizzard chimed in. "Stallman has no reason for choosing the closed source, satanic M$ IE 5.0 for his porn surfing needs. There are a wealth of quality free software browser/masturbatory aids available right now out there in the community. I mean...sure...previous releases of Mozilla might have sucked for those tricky Javascript-laded teen sites, but dude, have you tried last night's build? It totally rocks. Now if only we could figure out some way of watching all those hot streaming videos in Microsoft Media Player format....hmmm...maybe I'll drop over to Richard's place and see how the HURD is going...excuse me"

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (5)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#144298)

Microsoft provides a non-exploitive means of employment for thousands of people all across the world and in doing so fulfills a social contract that is very valuable indeed.

I know of a software shop where the NON-MS side of the house is maybe 5 people, and the MS side of the house is maybe 25 to 50. The usual thing databases, etc. Guess which side, which department ins more productive? hint, it is not the MS Side. The smaller department outright outproduces the MS department. And is the department that is keeping the company afloat. Of course, this is upsetting to the the MS crew who wants to phase out the NON-MS department.

What this says to me is that MS has been promoting widespread programmer incompetancy and inflated cost of ownership. How else to explain the above scenario? How else to explain the need for dozens of people in one scenario in one body of technology where the same thing is accomplished by a mere handful? If the personnel are legitamate experts, then that means that the technology itself is inherently flawed.

The only thing saving those MS geeks in that company is that the managers have bought the MS marketing line, despite the reality of accounting figures. When they get rid of the older system, they will likely kill the company.

the last paragraph of the WSJ Article says it best:

In its campaign against open-source, Microsoft has been unable to come up with examples of companies being harmed by it. One reason [...] is that virtually all the available evidence suggests that open source is "a huge advantage" to companies. "They are able to build on a common standard that is not owned by anyone," he said. "With Windows, Microsoft owns them."

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

Source Code (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 13 years ago | (#144300)

Weird, the same people who say that MS software is buggy affirm without any hesitation that MS is using BSD's code. Ah the irony.

Re:Yeah, well... (1)

jmallett (189882) | more than 13 years ago | (#144301)

What's ironic about that? What's wrong with that perspective? It happens to be true. RMS, ESR, Bruce Perens, et al. will tell you so if they have an ounce of credability.
--

Blah blah blah (1)

ghostie (196641) | more than 13 years ago | (#144309)

Ok ...

1/ The article states that MS is using BSD code in their sockets layer - nothing to do with hotmail running on FreeBSD

2/ I've read articles (and seen web signatures - IIS likes to broadcast it's use) showing that hotmail *does* run Windows/IIS

3/ Microsofts anti-OpenSource statements were more directed at anti-GPL - they have stated that BSD is the best license, especially for code developed at universities. Allows it to be used in 'for-sale' software as well.

4/ Who cares anymore? The market (as in users) will decide the future - and my guess is a mix ...

Ghost.

Re:Innovation (1)

benliong (197611) | more than 13 years ago | (#144310)

Now think about how much of the winXP is Linux-based.....It's scary. M$ is ripping open-sources off big time because they know no one in the open-source community has the money to sue them. those bastards....

Tell us something that we didn't know (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#144312)

Now, the article doesn't say much new things: They use FreeBSD as server? Oh, that was well known. (Saw numerous reports here of hotmail using FreBSD). The article does not state anything like that the GPL was violated or so. They use the BSD licensed code, which is perfeclty legal to use and not to redistribute.

The only point that is nice, is that the article points out the hypocrisy of Microsoft that on one hand it bashes OpenSource and on the other hand it embraces it. Mind, of course...that Microsoft bashes GPL and embraces BSD. Just as the licences are intended.

Using FreeBSD without using Open Source is easy (1)

PinkyAndThaBrain (206650) | more than 13 years ago | (#144318)

You sublicense it the moment you get it to a closed source license... and hey presto its no longer open source software, despite its origins. Thats why its "compatible" with the GPL too, which is in truth only compatible to itself, it allows sublicensing to nearly any license you want.

Re:It's simple really (3)

GearheadShemTov (208950) | more than 13 years ago | (#144319)

In the gift economy of OS infrastructure the bright light of day is the best assurance of continued future prosperity. Sooner or later MS will figure this out, but no bets from me on whether it will be in time for them to profit from the knowledge.

Like Marijuana, FreeBSD just leads to the Hard Stuff; can leaks about MS dependence on GNU/Linux be far behind? Go GPL!

It's simple really (3)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#144322)

They are the richest software company. They can afford to use the best software that can be found at any price. What's your excuse for not using the best software?

Please smile. It's funny, not flaimbait.

As i understand the BSD license .. (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 13 years ago | (#144323)

.. you can use BSD licensed code modified by MS, provided that you can get your hands on the code. There is no obligation to release it though.

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (1)

borgboy (218060) | more than 13 years ago | (#144327)

I also know of a software shop, where the "other side" outnumbers a smaller, more productive group by five to one. But this time, the big group is AS/400 / AIX / DB2 / WebSphere / Java, and the smaller, more productive team uses Win2k / SQL Server / IIS / Delphi. What do either of these examples, by themselves, really prove? Probably the proficiency and adaptability of the team, and the fact that BOTH are using tools that really are up to the task.

You're All Missing the Point (1)

McChump (218559) | more than 13 years ago | (#144328)

The story here is not that Hotmail runs on BSD -- that's well-known already. The story is that this fact was reported in the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The WSJ has been reliably pro-Microsoft in relation to previous skirmishes, notably the Antitrust matter. Is it *possible* that the WSJ has decided to take a different approach to the company's slander campaign against its open source / free-as-in-speech competition? After all, previous attacks from MS, particularly the Craig Mundie flap, have focused on the GNU Public License. If the WSJ has decided that this constitutes hypocrisy on MS' part, that would be a major boon to the intergration of free software into the broader business market. The WSJ is a POWERFUL ally.

-J

CP/M stolen from DEC? huh? (1)

Evil Grinn (223934) | more than 13 years ago | (#144331)

Digitial was a stickler with VMS code to Microsoft after Microsoft stole its software CP/M

I think you are confusing Digital Research (the CP/M people) with Digital Equipment Corporation.

Also, please explain how MS-DOS is/was a "stolen" version of CP/M. A blatant ripoff, yes. But was any code stolen?

Innovation (1)

alen (225700) | more than 13 years ago | (#144332)

Why innovate when somebody did it for you? Why spend time and money writing your own TCP/IP stacks when someone did it for you? The question remains, how much of unix is in NT/2000? I personally think a lot. All the pretty GUI's and wizards are just pre-made scripts for you instead of you having to know the commands yourself.

M$ has alot in common with media companies.. (1)

Kultamarja (226210) | more than 13 years ago | (#144333)

It seems that Mickie-soft is moving more and more towards claiming everything they make and even touch their own IPR, 100%. Then the M$ idea seems to be charging all those who even view their stuff over and over again. With projects like Hailstorm Micky-mousie is starting to have alot in common with media companies, with those who own content, and with those who lobbyed the DMCA through.

We are not far from seeing each piece of content AND software digitally encrypted with user's key, so that only the user can receive / do something with the software/content. M$ and media companies are constantly trying to push this kind of control mechanisms through, soon they will be billing me from the adds they have places on roadsides.. just because I happen to look at them. Maybe I am soon required by law to wear some sort of goggles that track my eyemotions, and if I even accidentally look at a piece of content I will have to pay.. over and over again.

Yes yes.. the question is what we are going to do about it? well there is one thing: we are the customers. Businesses operate solely based on satisfying the needs of the customer. If you speak against companies, but still buy their stuff -> no good. If you don't speak and don't buy their stuff -> better, but not that good either. But if you don't buy their stuff, and then explain in great detail to them why you are not buying it -> then it starts to be the kind of feedback the companies start to take seriously.

Perhaps we, the customers, sometimes need to remind media companies and M$ of what we want and how we want it. We have the power to start demanding - and keep demanding. Until they deliver!

.km

Um.. It's an automated script? (1)

Jamie Webb (230102) | more than 13 years ago | (#144338)

Do you guys think VA keep CowboyNeal locked in a basement typing out all those slashboxes?
The MSN site is just the same: they have a script that pulls all the articles off the WSJ front page.
I'm sure most people realise this, but it irratates me when some posters suggest that MS have some 'hidden agenda' behind allowing MS-critical articles on MSN.

As for the BSD thing: Yes, it's old news. Yes, it's good that it is appearing in a business-directed publication. No, MS are not using BSD for their main hotmail servers, just for advertising and DNS servers.

Try to consider facts people.

perhaps... (2)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 13 years ago | (#144343)

all the people who ms is directing their fud at, will be more inclined to read the wsj rather than /.

Boring... (3)

frleong (241095) | more than 13 years ago | (#144348)

Hey, MS has been using BSD code since the day 1 of Windows NT - a very well known fact. And they never deny it. Besides when MS was "criticizing opensource", the arguments were against the licensing terms of GNU and not open source in general.

I wonder why slashdot editors keep posting this kind of stuff. Just to please some Linux zealots? News for nerds?...hmmm....

Re:Microsoft: Less Evil Than Free Software? (2)

oconnorcjo (242077) | more than 13 years ago | (#144349)

The people who contribute to Free software are not there because they have to and can leave anytime they want. This fact makes your argument about conditions mute. People help with Free sofware because they like what they are doing while MS employees sit at thier desk because if they weren't, they would not get paid. Yes MS pays its employees BUT most of the revenues is owned by the most upper management who are the furthest removed from the creation of the products thier employees make. In Free software, it is a labor of love, but the people who make it happen, get all the credit. At Microsoft Bill Gates gets all the credit and does none of the real work of producing its products- he is most famous for being the richest man on earth. Now I am not saying upper management should not be well payed but the disparity between Upper management and those that do the real work is very dichotemous and indicating that they are not a good model of employee/employer social contract.

nobody has ever died due to a violation of (c) (1)

kipple (244681) | more than 13 years ago | (#144350)

in my humble opinion, everything Micrsoft could do with freebsd-style licence is perfectly legal.
who cares if they are doing what they aren't preaching? the won't loose any credibility. that's because a stroger licence -such as GPL- is needed in order to keep opensource software away from such companies which want to Embrace and Extend everything around them.

now, just a moment: what's wrong in Microsoft using open source software? if really what open source developers want is the quality, well, they shouldn't care. I'm just worried that we might risk to reinvent the wheel due to this 'closing' source code policy.

let's think about how many resources are wasted every year because of licensing and copyright issues. nobody has ever died of a violation of copyright, but everybody is suffering due to the lack of useful people, busy in trying to circumvent what business forces to do.

it may seem pathethic rethoric, but I think that the world could be a BAD place if Archimedes asked for a fee every time somebody used his theorem. surely some open-theorem zealot would have created a better way to express Archimede's Theorem, but it would have meant a huge waste of time during all human evolution.

oh well, just my 2c.

Re:\device\floppy0 (1)

Dragoness Eclectic (244826) | more than 13 years ago | (#144351)

Sounds like low-level error from the driver itself, or at least the lower levels of the file system. I spent a few weeks in the weird and terrifying world of Windows NT device drivers (I had to learn to write a simple filter driver), and learned that all the devices are named somewhere in the internals of NT (and the registry) in a hierarchical tree that starts with \device\...

Anyway, \device\floppy0 is the name you would use for an CreateFile() call.

Re:Did they link to WSJ or to MSNBC? (1)

Dragoness Eclectic (244826) | more than 13 years ago | (#144352)

I wonder if The Register or anyone else has brought this to the WSJ's attention? Reputable newsfeeds have a history of getting a bit testy when people take their copy, alter it, and then represent the altered copy as being the original.

$ cd c:/winnt; grep -i regents * (2)

imipak (254310) | more than 13 years ago | (#144354)


$ uname -a
CYGWIN_NT-4.0 LON-RHC-NTW36 1.1.8(0.34/3/2) 2001-01-31 10:08 i686 unknown

asimmons@LON-RHC-NTW36 /cygdrive/c/WINNT/system32
$ grep -i regents *
[...]
Binary file FINGER.EXE matches
Binary file FTP.EXE matches
Binary file NSLOOKUP.EXE matches
Binary file PGPsdkNL.dll matches
Binary file RCP.EXE matches
Binary file RSH.EXE matches

For those who are lucky enough not to know, WINNT/system32 is roughly equivalent to /usr/bin .
--
"I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

Re:Well.. we knew that. (1)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 13 years ago | (#144360)

Doh! I always do that... Netscape has nothing to do with this, but Netcraft does... The link's right, I just put in the wrong text...
________________________________________________

\device\floppy0 (1)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 13 years ago | (#144361)

Okay, so this is slightly off-topic, but a lot of posts here are about Microsoft using *NIX code.

My friend has started a collection of Windows error messages; I thought I had found a typical error message for him a couple weeks ago.

It was some strange disk-write error, some poor soul seems to have saved something to a floppy, but it didn't actually write. Well, the error message referred to "\device\floppy0". I suppose it's possible that Microsoft refers to its hardware in this way, but, umm.... Does this seem a little too similar to /dev/floppy or /dev/fd0? :)
________________________________________________

MSN must be independent... (2)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 13 years ago | (#144363)

... from Micrsoft.

This isn't the first time they've posted things critical of Microsoft; in fact, I could've sworn that I found a "Windows Bug of the Day" section, although I can't find it now...

However, perhaps this is ultimately what Microsoft wants. Because, let's face it, if they published a 'review' with the bottom line being "Linux sucks", would it have any credibility at all? No, of course not, it's a Microsoft company, of course they'll say that. But by occasionally posting stories critical of Microsoft, they help to build their credibility.
________________________________________________

Re:Well.. we knew that. (2)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 13 years ago | (#144364)

Actually, I believe they've 'upgraded' to Windows 2000. They at least claim to have done so, and Netscape supports this [netcraft.com] .

I myself believe that this may be true, as I used to use Hotmail. (I'm proud to say that I broke the habit, although mail.com is going through an 'upgrade' and has been unusuable for weeks...) When Hotmail 'upgraded', everything seemed to slow way down and I got a ton of errors...

While it's entirely possible that this was a transition problem, I personally think the decision was a corporate-pride thing, not a technical decision.
________________________________________________

Re:Well.. we knew that. (1)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144368)

The *API* is the same.
The only places that don't use BSD's API (or a variant of) are *old* Unixes.

There is a reason why it's called Berkley's sockets.

I'm not familiar with the way the 9x TCP/IP stack is built, but the NT one most certainly isn't based on the BSD one.

Taking the BSD code and porting it to NT would be a tougher job than just writing your own, because the way BSD & NT works is totally different.

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:Well.. we knew that. (1)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144369)

Do you understand the difference between porting a utility than porting that *stack*?

The API difference between BSD & NT are miniscule, the way they are implemented is totally different.

The BSD kernel is a monolitic one, NT's design is closer to mirco kernel, using layered I/O.
Totally different design, the BSD code wouldn't be of much use there.

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:Innovation (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144370)

No, the NT design team was led by the same guy who designed VMS, and he brought many concepts to NT that where learned on VMS.

But NT isn't based on VMS.

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:What's new ? (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144371)

Ftp, telnet, etc were ported straight from BSD.

The underlaying code has not, however.


--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:nobody has ever died due to a violation of (c) (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144372)

It *is* legal, because the BSD license allows you to do whatever you want with the code.

The thing that they are being bashed about is that they claim that OSS (all of it, not just GPL one) is bad, and then they go and use it.


--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:Yeah, well... (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144373)

When you've something as large as Hotmail, you don't just throw the old servers out and replace them with your own system at the blink of an eye.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/migration/hotma il /default.asp

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:Article written to lowest common denominator (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144374)

Actually, I doubt that they could take BSD code and easily port it to NT. Well, not unless it was pretty high level, and even then, they would need some Unix portability layer. (They have several)

What they *can* do is to find out the weak points on NT/2K, etc. And work on them. This can be done in part by analyzing why BSD is better than NT in certain cases, and working on the design of those parts.

Maybe even studying the code to see how the BSD people solved those problems. But the design of Nt & Unixes is different enough to make code portability at the lower levels a PITA.

BTW, while Unix & NT have totally different design models (both in the way they are developed, and in the way they work), they both aim at the same targets, and have roughly the same capabilities.

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:Practice What You Preach (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144375)

Maybe beacuse Hotmail didn't *start* as a MS project?
They bought it when it run FreeBSD, they have been phasing it out for the last couple of years.

You don't just swap servers with something as large as Hotmail.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/migration/hotma il /default.asp

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Re:\device\floppy0 (2)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#144376)

It's how it goes beihd the scenes, yes.

\Device\PhysicalMemory - /dev/kmem

Etc.

I can't think of any reason why an application would try to write directly to the floppy this way, unless it's something like Rawwrite.
And I don't think that this is how most applications works.

--
Two witches watch two watches.

Microsoft Hotmail... the virus within (1)

k-flex$ (315275) | more than 13 years ago | (#144389)

"A Microsoft spokesman said he couldn't explain why Microsoft had given out incorrect information on the topic."

I bet he cant explain it!

"one employee of the Redmond, Wash., company said Microsoft has deliberately kept FreeBSD in parts of Hotmail because of its technical superiority over Windows in important functions"

now this must be a cruel hoax!

Interesting - but rather dumbed down (1)

slipgun (316092) | more than 13 years ago | (#144390)

This was quite an interesting article, but wasn't particularly technical (eg didn't explain the difference between GPL and BSD). Btw, is the WSJ considered by americans to be an 'intelligent' paper? (What we in Britain call broadsheets). If so, I'd hate to see one of your tabloids. I didn't realise American papers were as bad as American TV :-)

Somebody going to pay at MSN. (3)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 13 years ago | (#144393)

Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article

Somewhat? They call MS barefaced liars, says they don't trust their own software, and furthermore states that their "Open Source is bad for bussiness" bashing, is nonsense (although to be fair they had singled out the GPL).

And that in the Wall Street Journal. Hmmm. What next?

--

Re:CP/M stolen from DEC? huh? (1)

mkelley (411060) | more than 13 years ago | (#144397)

It's not that CP/M was stolen, but many key concepts were used in DOS. MS added to what they had received from Seattle Computer Company. The book "Fire in the Valley" can teach you about the whole story.

m.kelley
www.mkelley.net

Eh? (4)

TikkaMassala (411282) | more than 13 years ago | (#144398)

Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article, I found it strange that this was linked from a MSN site!

Maybe they have more integrity than censoring news stories that put their community in a bad light (unlike /. or most US news centres of course).

Re:Well.. we knew that. (3)

Tachys (445363) | more than 13 years ago | (#144401)

But Microsoft had claimed that they had moved Hotmail completely to Windows. But it seems to have been proven false.

Re:You're All Missing the Point (2)

D Anderson n'Swaart (453234) | more than 13 years ago | (#144406)

I don't think that you could spin these facts any other way. It's pretty much "Microsoft has lied about not using open source code on Hotmail any more", end of story. WSJ might be on Microsoft's side, but they can't really put this in a better light than they have. They weren't exactly damning Microsoft; in fact, I think they were working their butts off to make the article sound as neutral as humanly possible.

Re:Innovation (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 13 years ago | (#144408)

well you can say no code but i would be surprised if no code has been reused if the same guy is involved... :)
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